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|Index||15 reviews in total|
Why do networks show us repetitive 'comedies' such as this? How could the
actors be sincere when they talked about this show in the promos? Surely
they understood how bad it was?!
Hackneyed predictable storyline, and a host of the same situations seen over and over again since the 1970s....
Network: NBC; Genre: Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-PG (for some language);
Classification: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4)
Season Reviewed: Complete Series (1 season)
Matt Landis (Elon Gold) has just married his sweetheart Alex (Bonnie Sumerville, "Grosse Pointe"). Due to financial problems they are forced to move in with her parents, The Pellets (Jean Smart and Dennis Farina): hi-jinks ensue!
From its wonderfully contrived premise to its traditional multi-camera, studio audience sitcom format, "The In-Laws" is the type of show that is easily instantly dismissed by most people as typical sitcoms. Truth be told, it is pretty disposable. But throw away any pretension and there is some fun to be had between the lines here. Coming to the network in the same year as "Meet My Folks" it might seem like NBC capitalizing on the success of the 2000 Ben Stiller comedy "Meet the Parents". I suspect that NBC's desire to get in on the universally appreciated man-fearing-his-intimidating-father-in-law comedy is the reason the show was pushed out of the gate, but few assembly line series come from a comic's creation and in this case that stand-up act is of comedian Elon Gold.
Gold shows a capable skill with physical comedy and willingness to use it (not many actors of this generation are so willing to embarrass themselves), as well as the classic bumbling newlywed out-of-step with his wife's family traditions. Without even watching the show you can probably guess that Jean Smart and, a laugh out loud funny Dennis Farina are the show's ace in the hole. They definitely are. Farina is an old pro who plays this part like a fiddle with his eyes closed. Veteran sitcom creator Mark Reisman and NBC did a crucially correct thing with this casting. Without them, "In Laws" wouldn't come close to working as much as it does.
"In Laws" is a show of simple joys. This was a shallow, completely inconsequential series hearkening back to a simpler sitcom time - and it appears to know this - recreating with loving accuracy the goofiness of a 70s or 80s family sitcom. Therein lies the show's modest charms. The farcical slapstick, the silly misunderstandings, the simple, cozy living room/kitchen setting. This, ironically, becomes a star in itself amid a wash of modern sitcoms looking for that next great visual gimmick. The show's writing is better than you would expect and Farina's comic delivery sells us on some slight, but clearly present, laughs. As slight as it may seem, this is typically stale material with a dead-end concept I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy - that it works at all (as I think it does) is enough to write home about.
It won't be rerun on USA in the middle of the day with cult sitcoms like "Doctor, Doctor", it won't be released on DVD (nor would I expect it too) and, in fact, it will probably be confused for the 1979 or 2003 movie on this website. But, given the up-hill battle, "In-Laws" was an amusing time-filler and a cute little effort while it lasted.
* * ½ / 4
I'm a big Dennis Farina fan, so when I saw the promos for the show, I
couldn't wait until it premiered. The premise is very nifty. A lot of
awkward situations can arise from a guy moving in with his wife's parents,
especially if the father is Dennis Farina. It's hilarious to watch him
react callously to his son-in-law's antics. Unfortunately, the show can use
stronger writing. Farina is brilliant like always, and is the main provider
of the laughs on the show, but Elon Gold is only a fairly good comedian. He
has talent, but he's somewhat dull and hackneyed. The actress who plays his
wife is deliciously hot. The most memorable gag on the show was during the
Halloween episode, where Farina called a "meeting of the five families" in
the neighborhood to discuss Halloween decorations. This of course was a
witty homage to "The Godfather."
I'm not bashing the show, and wouldn't mind if it lasts a couple more seasons. I don't rearrange my schedule to come home in time for "In Laws," but if I happen to be home while it's on, I usually check it out. But with a better creator and better writers, this show could've gone a lot farther. And face it, my man Dennis deserves a lot better.
My score: 6 (out of 10)
Every sitcom gag that's been overdone (including newlyweds move in with parents) since 'I Love Lucy', freshened up for the new millennium with the good old stand-by: sexual gags. This piece of trash jumped the shark with the first episode.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This series and Elon Gold were being HYPED as "the next big thing" in sitcoms for NBC. Well, they weren't. Dennis Farina was terribly miscast as the father in-law. He just seemed so uncomfortable and out of place here. The term, "Private 'convo' time!" was supposed to become the "Dyno-mite!" catch phrase of the 21st Century. Well, it wasn't. People were asking then, as they still are today (When his name comes up.), "Who the hell is Elon Gold?" I saw him on an episode of "The Mentalist" this evening. I mentioned his name, and my girlfriend asked, "Who?" Not funny. Total waste of airtime. NBC had really HIGH hopes for this show, but it just fell flat.
This show is hilarious!
I have only started watching this recently but every episode is very good. Admitedly it is alot like 'Meet The Parents' but better! I didnt enjoy 'Meet The Parents' that much and this just makes it so much better. The concept is quite a cliche but the jokes r great. Farina and Gold have a great friendship and pull off most of the funny bits. If u like meet the parents or frasier then u will love this. Brilliant!
My family and I have been watching this show since it first aired. We really love Alex (Bonnie Somerville), what a wholesome young talent. She is a first rate actress, and we hope to see more of her in the future. Look out Hollywood, she is the next Sandra Bullock.
Until I read a preview in a magazine (I believe it was FHM) that called this the best new comedy of the season I was not prepared to give it a chance. Thankfully I did. Dennis Farina is hilarious as Victor Pellet. His character is complicated and well-developed. I would love to see this show moved to Thursdays in lieu of the dreadful "Good Morning Miami". That would make for a night of truly Must-See TV.
I caught the series premiere of this show and I have to admit it wasn't too bad. I'm just wondering if the over-used Mike Stivic-Archie Bunker dynamic can survive. In any event, it's worth a shot to give this show a chance, especially when Dennis Farina is on-board.
Tonight was premiere night and I was actually looking forward to this new comedy on NBC. Jean Smart and Dennis Farina are very funny veterans and two talented newcomers seemed to be primed for success. Unfortunately, there were only moments of clever dialogue interwoven in tired old re-hashed stories with predictable outcomes. All in all, the first two episodes, which were both aired tonight, didn't leave me wanting more. I'll give it a few more shows, however I see this being canceled by the middle of the second season if not sooner unless serious revamps occur.
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